Receiving Bad News
"Also our enemies said, ‘Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work’" (Neh 4:11).
I opened the letter from the attorney and began to read the contents. The more I read, the sicker my stomach felt. I could not believe the words I was reading. I literally felt sick with fear. Perhaps you’ve had a similar experience. Maybe you got news that you’ve got cancer. Or someone has had an accident. Or you are being sued.
Nehemiah was rebuilding the wall in Jerusalem. The going was tough. As if things were not tough enough, he got a letter from another corrupt government official threatening to kill anyone involved in rebuilding the wall.
"But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the men of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat (Neh 4:7-9 emphasis mine).
There is but one response we should have to bad news. Pray to our God and take the necessary steps to defend ourselves against the threat. This was Nehemiah’s response.
Once you begin to take these actions avoid projecting what might happen to you in the future. This is a sure-fire first step toward depression. Ask God’s grace for one day at a time only.
"Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?" (Luke 12:24-26).
Turn your bad news over to the Lord. He specializes in turning crises into opportunities.
Grace – Greater Than All Our Sin!
For reading & meditation – Romans 5:12-21
"… where sin abounded, grace did much more abound …" (v. 20, KJV)
We are meditating on how to recover from the brokenness caused by the memory of some deeply grievous sin. By that we mean a sin which God has forgiven but which, for some reason, still burns in our memories. The first principle is this: realize that God can do more with sin than just forgive it. I heard an elderly minister make that statement many years ago, when I was a young Christian, and at first I resisted it. I said to myself: "How can God use sin? Surely it is His one intolerance?" Then, after pondering for a while, I saw what he meant. God uses our sin to motivate our will toward greater spiritual achievement, to quicken our compassion toward sinners and to show God’s tender heart for the fallen. We must be careful, of course, that we do not fall into the error which Paul refers to in Romans 6:1-2: "Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid" (KJV). If we sin in order that God may use it, then our motives are all wrong and we fall foul of the eternal purposes. If, however, we commit sin, but then take it to God in confession – really take it to Him – then He will not only forgive it, but make something of it. Is this too difficult for you to conceive? Then I point you to the cross. The cross was the foulest deed mankind ever committed, yet God used it to become the fulcrum of His redemption. It was our lowest point – but it was God’s zenith. Hallelujah.
O Father, I am so relieved to know that You take even my sins and make them contribute to Your purposes. Grace turns all my bad into good, all my good into better and all my better into the best. Hallelujah!
For Further Study
Hebrews 10:1-22; Isaiah 43:25-28
1. What will God not remember any more?
2. What is the "full assurance" we can have?
Will be busy..
One of my co-instructors lost his job today..
Not sure of the details, all I was told, was he no longer worked for us.
Plus he was my office mate!!
I then was given a number of his teaching assignments and a couple I have to scramble to get ready, with only a vague idea of what he was going to be doing.
And I have to have one 8 hour class ready for Friday..No idea what he and the Training Officer for County had set up.
Plus will be taking over his EMT class in addition to my 1st Responder class.
Up in the air are the EMT variance classes and ACLS Refreshers he led.